Recipe: Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole

Are you ready to kick up your classic mashed potato dish a few notches? If so, you are going to love this cheesy mashed potato casserole which has a layer of warm toasted cheese on top—yum! Plus, I’ve added a make ahead note so this recipe can easily make an appearance on your holiday table this year. And since it calls for unpeeled potatoes, you can count on that extra nutritional punch that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Enjoy!

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Recipe: Spaghetti Squash + Roasted Tomato Sauce

This is a guest post by team member Kiran. To learn more about Kiran check out our team page!

Okay, I’m gonna be honest, I had a horrible experience with spaghetti squash in high school. Back then I was all into spaghetti, pasta, and basically anything that was full of refined carbs – thank goodness I found real food! Anyhow, I’d read these fantastic things about this vegetable that tasted almost like regular noodles but had all the benefits of a vegetable. I was sold! I headed to my closest grocery store and picked up a package of already prepared squash “noodles.” I took it home and heated it up, anxious to give my new-found favorite food a taste. But I just about gagged when I took the first bite. The rest went into the trash, and I vowed to never eat this food again.

Flash forward to just a few weeks ago. I was shopping at Trader Joe’s with my youngest, who spotted the snack station. They happened to be serving – you guessed it – spaghetti squash topped with a little marinara. Somewhat hesitant, I still gave it another shot. And this time I was really sold. On the taste. It was so yummy! I started chatting with another customer who gave me some tips on cooking them, and the next thing I knew, I found myself heading to the bin with these oval-shaped goodies. And so I’m here today to tell you about what a great, versatile dish this can make. So whether you’re already a spaghetti squash lover or you’re feeling fearful, I’ve got a great recipe for you to try.

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Recipe: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Okay, I am not gonna lie – this is not your super quick weeknight kind of recipe. BUT if you were to chop all the veggies, cook and shred the chicken, and make the pie crust dough in advance I think it could happen on a busy night. And I don’t have to sell Chicken Pot Pie. We all know How. Incredibly. Delicious it is!

It’s possible though that I do have to talk you out of using convenience ingredients like cans of cream of mushroom soup and packaged pie crust. Trust me, making this dish from scratch in order to avoid highly processed additives like partially hydrogenated oils (i.e. trans fat), artificial dyes, and MSG is so worth it. Not only will it taste amazing, but you’ll feel good about the dish you’re serving your precious family.

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Video: How to Make a Perfect Grilled Cheese!

I bet you didn’t know you’ve been making grilled cheese wrong all this time. There are two tricks – the first is a key ingredient that I bet you aren’t using nearly enough of and the second is a secret ingredient that takes this classic sandwich from good to amazing! So I created a little 3-minute video to show you exactly how to do it. Once your perfect grilled cheese is ready serve it alongside Homemade Tomato Bisque and you will officially be in cool weather heaven. Enjoy!

Why Kids Should Not Be Rewarded with Junk Food

By blog team member, Kiran.

I’ve been on my soapbox recently about kids and snacks. And before I step off, I need to address one more issue: rewarding kids with junk food.

If you’re a parent, I’m guessing that you are familiar with this tactic. A child goes to dance (or insert sport here), and the child gets a piece of candy. A child gets a certain amount of stickers on their chart at school, and the child gets candy. Wait a minute – what? Why??

Why kids should not be rewarded with junk food on 100 Days of #RealFood
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Video: A Tour of My Real Food Freezer

Here is the final video in my kitchen tour series! In case you missed it I’ve already shared a tour of my fridge, pantry and kitchen (drawers, etc.). As you’ll see in this video we actually have an extra freezer that we use pretty regularly. When I first read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (the book that inspired me to cut out all processed food) he said if you have the space then get an extra freezer.

And oh boy was he right – between the locally raised meat from our farmer’s market (that’s sold frozen), and the 100% whole-wheat 5-ingredient bread I like to stock up on when I’m in that part of town, and the homemade convenience food I frequently make (including chicken stock, soups, muffins, waffles, etc.) it has been so worth it to have this extra freezer space. And that’s because when you find a good source for something like humanely raised meat or real bread it makes sense to stock up when you have the chance! It also goes without saying – I usually have a minor freak out when there’s a big storm and we lose power!! LOL Enjoy the tour…

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